Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it,
every winged thing in the shade of its boughs.
As this month of June is the first real summer month here in the Deep South, and heat has really set in, I took comfort in this line from the first reading. This is what my faith is like for me – a comforting place to land – to be shaded from the scorching rays of this world. I am so thankful for having been given the gift of faith, and for having a loving family to nourish that faith as I’ve grown. I am saddened for children who have received the seed of faith in their hearts, but have not been raised in an environment where that faith has been “fertilized.” You know, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we’ve been taught that God has stamped on our hearts the desire to know Him at conception. There was an AMAZING DISCOVERY made by scientists recently that further confirms this beautiful Church teaching. Check this out.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night.
God is faithful to those who love Him. We love Him. Do we remember to thank Him for every gift and blessing that comes from Him? Do we sing praise to His holy name? Saint Augustine of Hippo was a very wise man following his conversion. He said, “Whoever sings prays twice.” Let us have a joyful heart – a grateful heart – and sing, sing of our love for Jesus! Let us share stories of His faithfulness as often as we can, so as to water the seeds of faith planted (sometimes buried deep within) those for whom we come into contact. God puts people in our paths for a reason. Let’s allow Him to use us to bring others to Him.
although we know that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
Do you ever feel as though you don’t belong here – like you are somehow different from everyone else – like the world doesn’t understand you? Then you are “doing it” right! The world didn’t understand Jesus. If we are his followers, the world won’t understand us either! You are in very good company! The earth is not our home. We are in exile here. We will feel totally at home once we get to heaven. It is our home. I love this song about the subject. Enjoy!
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each may receive recompense,
according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
Many Protestant Christians believe that all one must do is believe that Jesus is the Savior and he/she gets to go straight to heaven. I wonder how they interpret this passage. It clearly says that we will receive reward/punishment according what we have done. Just saying!
Now, in the gospel, Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God. I began pondering this thing called the Kingdom of God. Is it a place? Is it a person? Do you know that the Kingdom of God/Heaven is mentioned 122 times in the bible! Go to biblegateway.com and in the keyword search write the words, “Kingdom of God.” You will see every verse that mentions it.
The Kingdom of God means Jesus – that through Jesus and in Jesus God is fully present. The Kingdom of God also resides in the hearts of men. The Lord dwells within us. We can either cooperate with His plan to use each of us to further His Kingdom on earth, or we can refuse. He doesn’t need us – His Kingdom will come with or without us, but He allows us to be a part of the coming of His Kingdom if we will serve, obey and agree to be used. The Kingdom of God is also made present in the life of the Church – through the sacramental life of the Church. Wow! There are so many incredible layers to this mystery called the Kingdom of God.
Think of how the Kingdom of God has grown from a tiny mustard seed during the days of the apostles into mighty mustard tree (not the herb that we make the yellow stuff from) all over the world today. Yet, remarkably, there are still pockets of the world who have not heard the “good news.” We pray for the coming of the Kingdom over All over the earth each time we pray the Our Father: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…”